We’ve gone over the nutrition basics, what eating healthy includes, and some rules to go by. The next step is to learn how to take to make healthy eating a reality. More often that not I hear people say “I don’t have time to be healthy.” Time is a huge barrier in our society to being healthy—fast food, convenience, drive-thru are often the words that describe our meals. Eating healthy can be just as feasible, it just takes more planning. Here are some steps to take in order to make the healthy choice the easy choice:
Plan Your Meals
You know the feeling, you are driving home, stuck in traffic, you woke up late and worked an extra hour—the last thing you want to do is to make dinner. This scenario often results in stopping by Popeye’s or throwing whatever you have at home together at the last minute. Planning your meals will allow you to have your refrigerator stocked, and ideally your food already prepared. What I do is cook for the week on Sunday night; that way I have dinner ready to heat up when I get home from work on Monday. Another thing I like to do is use my slow cooker, this way my dinner was cooking all day and is finished when I walk in the door!
Make a List and Stick to It
After you have planned your meals make a list of items you will need. The time it takes to make a grocery list will save you money and calories. Making a list will prevent you from purchasing impulse items at the grocery store, which are most often high-calorie snack foods. It will also help you stick to a budget, if you know what you are going in for you won’t just buy things because they are on sale but because you know you will use them. Writing down what you plan to buy will also help you take a second glance at the foods in your diet. Use the list Ann gave you last week as a start!
Have Backup Plans
I am a realist, I understand that there will be weeks and days when cooking just isn’t feasible. In this case have your backups. When I use the slow cooker, since it is just my husband and I we usually freeze half of it. That way for weeks when I don’t have time to cook we have a meal ready to defrost. It might also work for you to keep a few Lean Cuisines or Smart Ones in the freezer. No, these aren’t home cooked meals, but they are portion controlled for a last minute option. Lastly, my go to on really busy nights is peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread—a little protein, fiber and you are good to go.
The key to taking steps towards healthy eating is thinking ahead, planning, making lists, and having alternatives in place when life seems to get too busy. I challenge you to plan your meals for the next week, see how it goes, let me know what challenges you face and if it seemed easy or difficult.
Come back next week for tips on healthy grab-and-go breakfasts!
Lauren Futrell Dunaway, MPH, RD, graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Dietetics. She then completed her dietetic internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After becoming a Registered Dietitian, she began to pursue a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Lauren currently works at the Tulane Prevention Research Center as a program manager for their core research project focusing on the built environment and how it affects obesity. Contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tour de Lis is a run, ride and walk that benefits the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It’s not a race – it’s a run/ride/walk with a purpose – to raise funds for and awareness about cancer survival, support, and research-to celebrate survivors and support those still in battle.
When: Saturday, May 08, 2010 @ 8:00 a.m.
Where: City Park, Behind Tad Gormley Stadium
The inaugural Tour de Lis in April 2007 raised $40,000 and featured five riders who cycled 150 miles around Lake Pontchartrain. In 2008, they created a community-wide event and in 2009, Tour de Lis raised over $198,000 for the beneficiary organizations:
The Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans (CAGNO), prides itself in protecting and defending the community against cancer through education, outreach, and research. CAGNO’s patient services program provides vital prescription medications, transportation and other necessities to cancer patients who otherwise would have to do without.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation programs provide financial support and capacity-building to community-centered initiatives that address the physical, emotional and practical challenges of cancer survivorship.
(Click on Image to make a Donation and help Tour de Lis meet their goal)
The goal of the Tour de Lis is to provide a ride, walk or run that is safe, fun, non-competitive and open to all levels of athletic ability, while bringing cancer awareness to the community and raising funds for organizations that are in the forefront of Cancer Survivor Support.
Participants include cancer survivors celebrating life, family and friends who want to honor a loved one affected by cancer, or in memory of a loved one who lost the battle. Tour de Lis unites people who are passionate about cancer survival, knowledge and support. Join us for Tour de Lis to celebrate hope, strength, love and remembrance.
Bike Registration: $35
5K Run/Walk Registration: $25
Combo Bike and 5K Run/Walk Registration: $40
Final Date to Register: Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 11:59 PM
Click here to Register
Over and over again, I hear how busy moms (and dads) are – and how difficult it is to try to fit in some time to exercise. It occurred to me that there IS time…you just need to see it. Here are three opportunities our peer group has identified:
First, if your child(ren) is(are) on the after-school-activity circuit…soccer, t-ball, baseball, dance class, etc…you may constantly be on the road. “I feel like all I am is a taxi cab” seems to be a common comment. I say, “That’s perfect! What a great opportunity to exercise yourself!”
If you have an hour with nothing to do but wait for your child’s activity to be over…DO SOMETHING WITH IT. Our children go to Tumblebus once a week – which is a great program that builds self-confidence and enhances physical and motor development in children. It’s a gym on wheels with bars, beam, vault, ropes, rings, zip line and monkey bars inside (for children ages 2-10; for more information call 985-725-0143 or email email@example.com).
During that hour, parents must stay on site – so, a few of us decided to jog around the parking lot and up the local street. We’ve turned an hour of sitting in our cars doing nothing into a 30-minute cardio session followed by a round of push-ups. Kids exercise; moms exercise.
Another great “family time” option is just going for a walk around your neighborhood. Bring the dog, have the kids ride a bike, skip, jump rope, bounce a ball, tell a story about every green thing they see…whatever it takes, just walk out the front door.
The last idea came from a former colleague of mine who moved to New Orleans from up North. He was so excited to have a swimming pool he could use most days of the year. Every night after work and school, he and his daughters would hop in the pool for 30-45 minutes of swimming time. He would do laps while they played and talked. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool – go for it! Make it a habit and embrace these hot summers with a cold splash.
Alison Soileau is currently the owner of Self Confidence LLC, and is a District Manager/Independent Consultant with Arbonne International, a 30-year-old international health and wellness company. Experience includes 11 years with Ochsner Health System. Alison is the mother of 5-year-old twins, Cole & Cassidy…who led her to gain and then lose over 80 pounds…through diet, nutrition and exercise.
The first is called type 1 diabetes which affects some 5 – 10% of the total diabetic population. This condition used to be referred to as either insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. Its cause is unknown, but it’s an autoimmune disease in which a person’s body attacks the cells that produce insulin in the organ called the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that is essential in assisting cells in the blood to accept sugar coming from food. When these cells (beta cells) in the pancreas can no longer produce insulin – it causes an inability of cells to accept the sugar which in turn causing the sugar to increase higher and higher. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed before age 20. It’s rarely diagnosed later in life, but it can happen. Individuals who have this type of diabetes have to inject insulin via a syringe for the rest of their life. Individuals with this type of diabetes have to monitor their blood sugar closely every day and follow an active physical activity program. There is no cure, but there is some promising research that may heal these patients.
The second type of diabetes is called pre-diabetes. This condition does not mean that a person is diabetic – it means that it increases your chance of developing this disease, unless immediate action takes place. During this condition the blood sugar exceeds (120 mg/dl) the normal fasting number when fasting. Some individuals may take oral hypoglycemic medications (i.e. Glucophage) temporarily to help bring their blood sugar down. Physical activity (exercise) is essential to all diabetics and is one of the best ways along with a healthy diet to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
The third type of diabetes and most frequent is called type II. This type affects nearly 90 – 95% of all diabetics. This disease begins with the body’s inability to accept insulin which in touch allows the sugar in the blood to be taken in the cell to get burned for energy. This condition is called insulin resistance. Or similar to type I diabetes, the body may not be produce enough insulin from the pancreas. As with each type of this disease, when blood sugar remains higher than 120 mg/dl at a fasting state, diabetes complications will soon follow. The following races seem to be more susceptible to developing this type of diabetes … Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific islanders and Hawaiians.
The fourth and least common type is called Gestational diabetes. This type can occur during pregnancy. Between 40 – 60% of women with this type of diabetes will develop type II diabetes in a span of 10 years post-partum. The numbers are high, yes, but it is not inevitable that women with gestational diabetes will have diabetes for life.
Check back next week when we discuss diagnostic criteria for each type of diabetes.
Steve J. Roch Jr., RD, LDN, CFT is a registered and licensed dietitian. He is also a certified personal trainer. Steve is the owner and president of BestRD Wellness, LLC, a company that provides nutrition therapy and wellness services to residents and businesses in the areas of New Orleans and South Louisiana. Steve can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday, I attended 1 one of the 3 Transition New Orleans Recreation Task Force Public Meetings – held by the New Orleans Recreation Department Citizens Advisory Panel (NORDcap). The goal of NORDcap is to provide recommendations for the development of high quality, broad-based playgrounds, facilities, programs and services creating a sense of community, enabling a safe and secure environment, and enhancing New Orleans’ quality of life.
By far the biggest thing that clearly stood out last night is how extremely passionate the citizens of New Orleans are about improving recreational opportunities and facilities because of how critical it is to the proper formation of our youths.
Coaches, parents, children and communities leaders stood up one by one; taking their 2 minutes and 30 seconds to express their concerns, disappointment, and burning desire to see changes in NORD and to see community parks, facilities and programs returned and be properly managed.
In the last five years, since Katrina, it’s clear that the citizens of the city, the parents, coaches, booster clubs and volunteers have put forth the efforts, the money, the time, love, and care in reviving the parks, and organizing the programs. The citizens of New Orleans are heart broken by the recent raise of violence and are demanding change and better opportunities, and programs for the kids in the city.
The members of the NORDcap chaired by Rod West, CEO, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. and Roy Glapion, Founder and past President, Citywide Testing & Inspections, Inc., listened carefully, took notes and have a big job to fill in making the best possible recommendations to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
To find out more about the New Orleans Recreation Task Force I recommend listening to the New Orleans Recreation Department Citizens Advisory Panel presentation to the New Orleans City Council, August 28, 2009 – Rod West clearly articulates the current situation, the issues that need to be addressed, the challenges ahead, and mission NORDcap has undertaken.
I personally stood up last night, stepped to the microphone and expressed that as the parks and recreation centers are revived, it’s critical that the entire family and community is taken into account. As the CEO of Be Fit NOLA – what I’ve discovered is how many people have no access to any kinds of facilities or ability to exercise and workout. I do believe it’s critical to setup programs for kids but it’s also imperative to give parents access to exercise programs and equipment. Lets setup Green Gyms in our parks…lets invest in the health of the citizens in New Orleans by providing parks and recreation centers that support all – people of all ages.
I really hope that amazing things will happen in the next few years…real change, real improvement, real innovation.
Transition New Orleans is holding a series of community meetings to gather public input on the opportunities and challenges facing New Orleans.
Chaired by Rod West, CEO, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. and Roy Glapion, Founder and past President, Citywide Testing & Inspections, Inc., the Recreation Task Force will recommend ways for the incoming administration to create a best-in-class and sustainable system of recreational activities in New Orleans.
Please join the Recreation Task Force to provide input on how New Orleans can build a world-class recreation system that enhances the quality of life of all residents. The public’s input will be considered by the Recreation Task Force as they make recommendations to Mayor-elect Landrieu.
Come and share your ideas – last meeting is Thursday, April 15th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
2220 Oretha C Haley Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70113